The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, designed to preserve the world's crops, turns one year old today
By Susannah F. LockePosted 02.26.2009 at 5:44 am 0 Comments
What do you get a seed bank for its birthday? More seeds, of course.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrates its first birthday today with the addition of 90,000 seed samples. The vault serves as a heavy-duty backup for gene banks around the world, which strive to save humanity (and our food supply) from the scourges of monoculture and environmental catastrophes.
Hollowed-out mountains are good for so many things. They can house strategic military bases. They can store toxic waste. And if youre truly evil, you have the option of carving it into the shape of a skull, making it your secret headquarters, or periodically host kung-fu tournaments there. Or, you know, all three.
The Norwegians are hoping to use their hollowed-out mountains for the altruistic, though ominously named, Doomsday Vault. The vault will be a depository of seeds of all the known varieties of the worlds crops, just in case anything goes down. NASA, on the other hand, recently announced that they'll be upping the speed on the whole hollowed-out-mountain game by harnessing the naturally occurring hollow lava tubes on the moon as a library. Information could be stored on computers housed in these lava tubes and sent by satellite. At least its good to know that if one day NORAD happens to unleash its missiles or a kung-fu tournament on Skull Island goes horribly awry, all our seeds and back issues of PopSci will be safe.
What would you do with a hollowed-out mountain? Let us know in the comments section below. Me, Id make a gigantic bounce house. And host a kung-fu tournament. —Dan Smith